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Clayton State University announces spring commencement speaker lineup

(April 16, 2019) - A local radio and television veteran and a healthcare executive will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies at Clayton State University in May. Veteran broadcaster Lisa Rayam and Piedmont Henry Hospital Chief Executive Officer Deborah Armstrong have been tapped as commencement speakers to celebrate students graduating from the University’s four colleges on Saturday, May 4.

Spring commencement

Rayam has strong ties to the Atlanta community as a former reporter and anchor for 21 years at Fox 5. An Emmy Award winning journalist, Rayam currently is a host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” as well as the Capitol Correspondent for PBS and GPB’s Lawmakers Show where she covers many of Georgia’s more intensely controversial legislative issues. 

Rayam has won numerous awards for her reporting and been recognized by many community outreach organizations. Rayam is a regular volunteer for the North Fulton Community Charities and a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, St. Jude’s Hospital, and HOPE HOUSE. Additionally, Rayam is the founder of Living Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Inc., a non-profit that sponsors self-esteem workshops for teenaged girls. 

Armstrong joined Piedmont Henry as its chief operating officer in May 2016, before being promoted to CEO a few months later in October of that same year. She leads one of 11 hospitals in Piedmont Healthcare, which comprises over 1,600 employees who provide excellent care for 20,000 patients admitted, 87,000 emergency department visits, and 9,200 surgeries each year. 

Under her leadership, Piedmont Henry has received multiple awards and designations for quality and patient safety, most notably the 2018 Press Ganey Success Story Award, a national award for outstanding healthcare organizations that have transformed their delivery of care through safety, quality, and experience improvements.

Armstrong will serve as the commencement speaker for students in the College of Health, College of Business, and College of Information and Mathematical Sciences attending the 9 a.m. ceremony. She will be followed by Rayam, who will speak to students from the College of Arts and Sciences at the noon ceremony.

Dr. Leon Prieto, Heritage Bank University professor and associate professor of Management, will speak to graduate students on Friday, May 3 during the evening commencement and hooding ceremony.

Dr. Prieto has published research on a number of topics including African American Management History, Social Issues in Management, and Critical Management Studies. His research areas are focused on the contributions of minorities (gender as well as racial and ethnic) to the development of Management as a discipline, and the interrelationship between organizational management and society.

The University has also selected two student speakers to share their Clayton State experience during Saturday’s ceremonies. Christina Day, a health and fitness management major, and Victoria Storey, an integrative studies major, will speak at commencement.

Clayton State’s spring 2019 commencement is scheduled for May 3-4 in the Athletics Center.

View full details about the Spring 2019 Commencement

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